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'The whole world is a fan of Roger Federer' - Virat Kohli recalls meeting the Swiss Maestro

(From L to R) Roger Federer, Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma
(From L to R) Roger Federer, Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma
Namit Kumar
Modified 28 Jul 2020, 17:47 IST

During the course of a career that has spanned over two decades, Roger Federer has built a massive fan base not just in Europe but in all corners of the world. His enduring success and appeal have made him a universal icon, across all geographical and cultural barriers.

So it comes as no surprise that Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is an admirer of Federer too. During a recent interview Kohli heaped praise on the 20-time Grand Slam champion, claiming that his effortless elegance made him a near-unanimous fan favorite.

Roger Federer is very humble and kind: Virat Kohli

Roger Federer (L) with Virat Kohli at an exhibition match in Sydney in 2015
Roger Federer (L) with Virat Kohli at an exhibition match in Sydney in 2015

While chatting with fellow Indian cricketer Mayank Agarwal on the BCCI website, Virat Kohli reminisced about his interaction with Roger Federer at the 2019 Australian Open. The Indian superstar made it a point to meet Federer on the trip Down Under since his wife - the renowned actress Anushka Sharma - had never met him before.

"It was very special," said Kohli. "I had met him a few times before but Anushak had not. We both love Roger!"

Kohli himself is massively popular in India, and has been the Indian Test team captain since 2015. However, he believes that Roger Federer's popularity is like no other in the world of sport.

"I think the whole world is a fan of Roger. I have never seen any one person so well connected with the world. If any tennis match is going on, you always want Roger to win," asserted Kohli.

Virat Kohli was struck by Roger Federer's humility during their 2019 interaction, and recalled how they chatted for a fairly long period of time.

"He is so humble, so kind," Kohli said. "He was in a meeting and we were waiting on the side and he just came, didn't even sit. He just stood there and spoke to us while he was going nonstop from one place to another for meetings."
"We spoke for half an hour and discussed things. For him, how the Australian Open is going, who he is going to play tomorrow, stuff like that. It was a very, very special chat," he added.

Roger Federer has had several trysts with world-famous cricketers over the years.

Former Australian skipper Steve Smith met the Swiss legend at the Australian Open a year before Kohli, and Indian legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have all used words of very high praise for the 38-year-old in the past.

Published 28 Jul 2020, 17:47 IST
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